Mixed Emotions

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It’s probably time I chime in on the whole spaceport tax issue currently stirring up trouble in Doña Ana county. I’ve been reading all the news for the past weeks and thinking about it a lot. It’s hard to say where I come down on this one….

Much like the outcome of the voting….

Seems this is an “on the fence” issue when looking at voters as a whole. A lot of folks are vehemently against this new tax, and why not? Why should they, residents of a poverty state, pay more money in taxes so that one of the richest men in the world can live out some misplaced boyhood dream?

I’d like to think that this is a *good* idea for the State of New Mexico, bringing commercial space travel to the world, media attention to our fair state and dollars rolling in to our coffers. New Mexico has certainly always been on the forefront of space and research and I’d like to think that Sir Richard Branson has only the best ideas at heart for this project.

However, I just can’t buy into that.

Richard Branson is a controversial person, ranking on both the 100 Greatest Britons and the 100 Worst Britons lists. He is by all accounts an egomaniac and a cad but he is also a businessman, which by its very virtue means he is not looking out for the best interests of New Mexico on this venture, he’s looking out for the best interests of the bottom line. Which, as a businessperson myself, I’m not actually opposed to. But I am very clear in my own mind what this deal is all about.

In the end, if it’s not this venture it’s something else. New Mexico traditionalists (like me) are often very reluctant to see new growth in our state, especially growth that brings more people, more taxes and more headaches. This would fit the bill on all three counts.

I hate that the residents of the county have to pay for this in taxes, but as a now ten year resident of California, I’ve learned that usually that’s how things, big things like this, get done.

I honestly think that the group behind the spaceport has done a poor job of marketing this to the people who will actually foot the bill. I think with a little marketing spin, a little “what’s in it for me”, the tides could turn and voters might warm up to the cause.

In the end, the bill passed by a narrow margin. Progress marches on. I hope this whole venture will be worth it.

For the record…if I still lived in Las Cruces…I probably would have voted yes on the tax…

Despite my ongoing sadness at the loss of farm and ranchland in New Mexico and I know that development in Upham (which today is not much) and the area right at the spaceport means ranching families will sell out thus filling the pockets of the real estate elite (again)…but that’s another post for another day.

To think of the media attention this will bring to Hatch, that small town near Upham and situated right there on the road to the spaceport…

Wait! Does this mean the world will know our little secret about the most delectable foodstuff in the world?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Top Ten

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With a wink and a nod to the Late Show, I present my own version of the Top Ten.

This came to me on the ride home from work on Friday. I got to thinking about all things New Mexico and how crazy our state must look to an outsider.

Without further ado…

Top Ten Things Said By a First Time Visitor to New Mexico:

(in no particular order)

10) What’s with all the orange barrels?

9) Clean water and fast ducks?

8) Ok, so to get from Las Cruces to Albuquerque I get on I-25. Then what?

7) *This* is Roswell? I thought it would be bigger.

6) *This* is the Governor? I thought he would be smaller.

5) Red or Green what?

4) Why is that car on a stick?

3) I wonder how much it would cost to buy land?

2) Why is that car so wide/low/loaded down?

and finally….

1) Wow. You don’t *look* Mexican.

Happy Easter and Happy Sunday. I’m out to enjoy the sun…..

The State’s answer isn’t mine.

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On March 15, 2007, Arnold Vigil wrote an article in the ABQjournal titled “To Mix, or Not Chiles?” (terrible grammar, by the way…..).

In this article, Mr. Vigil discussed that the New Mexico State Legislature, currently in session, is contemplating a “State Answer” to the “State Question” which was established on the books in 1999. The state question, as most natives already know, is “Red or Green”, asked by wait staff in restaurants and referring to which type of chile you want on your eats.

The proposed State Answer is….get this…”Christmas”….referring to wanting both.

Ok…I don’t want the state answering for me. Mainly because I never order both. But also because that answer is dumb.

None of my friends order both. We are confirmed green chile fans. Hell, I know a few folks from Hatch and other spots who contribute their crops to the state’s supply of green chile. Plus, I like the taste of green better. Red chile is usually left out in the field too long and roasted too long and it takes on a bitter flavor. Bitter is NOT what I want on my huevos. No, a nice smoky green chile is the stuff of life. Red is okay. I’ll have it on enchiladas sometimes…nice on carne adovada, of course. But I’m a green girl and most of my buddies are too.

And if we did order both, we’d say both. I think I remember one time at Gardunos when I was a kid, my dad ordered both, but he said “both”. No self-respecting native would say “Christmas” or even more schlocky “Navidad”. Ugh!

As New Mexicans, sometimes I think we shoot ourselves in our own feet by giving over to scholcky and silly. Actually, a lot of that comes from, I believe, people who moved to NM…but moved there like 20 or 30 years ago and fancy themselves to be natives. No.

Maybe a turista can giggle and feel so “in” by ordering “Christmas” on their burrito. The waitperson will bring it to them. And all will be fine. But those of us from there originally will roll our eyes at the ridiculousness. I guess coming from there you have to learn to give over to some of the silliness. If I can endure Nelson Martinez on the news and then endless commercials for his Mariachi band, schlocky content set on “extreme”, then I can handle my own freaking legislature catering to the inane.

Hey, this may be a north vs south thing. Maybe up North they say “Christmas” with frequency. South of the Sandia Casino, no self-respecting New Mexican would give in to that.

And I have to be honest…I’m a little tweaked that the Legislature thinks they can answer the age old “red or green” question for me. If this passes, does this mean everyone has to have both all the time? Oh the horror at the thought! My mouthwatering Chopes chicken enchiladas with a fried egg on top, smothered in green and *gasp* bitter ass red? NO!

I don’t want this to pass! I don’t want this answer on the books! I’m outraged!

Who is the lobbyist that can best represent the interest of us the few, the proud, the hungry!??! In the name of Sadies and Gardunos and Nopalitos I DEMAND that I be given a choice! My choice!

Don’t let the government dictate your combo plate!

“Christmas”…fer chrissakes…forcing an answer in un-American.


Photo by Karen Fayeth

In the beginning…….

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Oh Fair New Mexico. It starts as a song. Our State Song….

Written by Elizabeth Garrett (daughter of Pat Garrett, the man who took down Billy the Kid) three years after New Mexico became the 47th state in the Union, in 1912…

Set to music by John Philip Sousa. Sing along:
_____________
Under a sky of azure, where balmy breezes blow,
Kissed by the golden sunshine, is Nuevo Mejico.
Land of the Montezuma, with firey hearts aglow,
Land of the deeds historic, is Nuevo Mejico.

Chorus:
Oh! Fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so,
Our hearts with pride o’re flow,
No matter where we go.
Oh! Fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so,
The grandest state we know — NEW MEXICO!

Rugged and high sierras, with deep canyons below,
Dotted with fertile valleys, is Nuevo Mejico.
Fields full of sweet alfalfa, Richest perfumes bestow,
State of apple blossoms, is Nuevo Mejico.

Chorus

Days that are full of heart-dreams, nights when the moon hangs low;
Beaming its benedictions, O’er Nuevo Mejico.
Land with its bright manana, Coming through weal and woe;
State of esperanza, Is Nuevo Mejico

Chorus
_____________

Sort of cheery and exclamation pointy, isn’t it, then?

Skies of azure, sunshine of gold…firey hearts and all that. Sounds pretty good, right?

Like any good “fight song” it sings of something of an ideal. Not reality.

I mean…the NMSU fight song…what with all its drinking to the Aggies winning is only half right, right?

But it says we’re a state of esperanza (hope) and maybe that’s true. A lot of folks move to the state with a hope of something. Peace. Quiet. Cheap land? They don’t bargain for poor infrastructure and some backward thinking. And a blowhard of a governor now running for president.

But the push pull of the state…new vs old, tradition vs progress, is what keeps people on their toes.

And so it begins…the first post in my new blog about my home state. I have a lot of good memories, thoughts and lots of mental stuff to work out on these pages. Figured it best to start out explaining the source for the title of this blog.

And so….

Oh! Fair New Mexico. From green chile to fry bread to cerulean skies…yes, as a matter of fact, we do love you so……..


photo by Karen Fayeth